Somewhere in the comments below, someone asked if we really deal with this much asshattery every day, or is this blog just an overexaggeration?
Well, let me tell you now...
Over the course of just a few days:
1.) Non-client walks in my door at 11:59 am, just as half of my staff was headed to lunch. They'd had a very busy morning taking care of our good clients and deserved a break. They are SUCH hardworking people. Non-client proceeds to tell my staff that her dog had been sick for a few days and she needed to be seen. No problem - exam fee is $xx. Non-client informs my staff that she thought it was just ridiculous that she had to pay for an exam.... um, ok? Whatever. Then she informs my staff that I would see her right then because she was an excellent client (really? that's why you're a non-client?) and that she would be paying me on the 1st. (we all know that code) Staff informs her that we had an available appt at 3:45 pm and would be more than happy to see her then. Non-client throws a fit but eventually agrees to the appt time.
Fast forward to 3:45 pm. Non-client no-shows for the exam. Doesn't call, just doesn't show up. No problem, I've been doing this enough years to know that you never really put these into the schedule cause, well, these are usually crazy people.
So I put it out of my mind and as soon as I'm done with my last appt, I roll out and head home. My staff calls me almost immediately, letting me know that Non-client called at 4:59 pm with a message for me:
"You tell that doctor that I WILL be back at 8 am in the morning and I WILL not have any money and she WILL treat my dog and will wait for payment on the 1st!"
Yeah. OK. I was ready for her the next morning, but she no-showed again. Sigh. I didn't even get to unload on her dumb ass. But it did get my hackles up, especially since she felt that verbally abusing my hardworking awesome staff was somehow acceptable.
2.) Client who had been in twice in the last 5 years, calls at noon just as my hard working staff is trying to get lunch. Again. EMERGENCY! My dog was attacked... 2 days ago!!! And needs to be seen NOW!!! Well, OK... this really could be real, so come on down....
Poor, old decrepit sweet Lab, several infected bite wound all over his face and neck. Stiff as hell and can barely walk. Not on any pain meds, not current on any vaccines, and is a mess. I ask owner if she's considered providing some basic care for this dog? Her answer: Nah, he's not in any pain.
So we do an exam, and provide her with an estimate for treatment for his wounds as well as some recommendations for care going forward.
Her answer: WHAT? I don't have any MONEY! My neighbor's dog did this so I'm gonna leave my dog with YOU while I go back home and ask him to pay the bill!
I told her that's fine, and the charge for leaving her dog with me would be $xx. (Having been down the abandonment road and the no payment road before, there was no way I was doing it for free)
She didn't like that answer. She stormed out, got into her CADILLAC and drove away.
3.) SAME DAY: Owner comes in with her dog, specifically for a behavior issue, saying the dog is showing aggression towards HER.
(Side note: male intact white German Shepherd. Do I need to say more?)
I walk in the room, he starts eyeing me and growling at me. On goes the muzzle. We do the exam, talk about the findings and I make recommendations, including one for a TRAINER, and for NEUTERING this beast.
Next day, owner calls, SCREAMING at my staff, about how we obviously didn't know what we were doing because we MUZZLED her dog!!! That was, apparently, cruel and unusual punishment.
(can I say that I might laugh if, in the future, I hear that he attacked her and ate her body?)
4.) Same week: Non-client calls and says he wants Tramadol for his dog. Specifically. Then tells me he doesn't want "all those tests" and that the dog is current at another vet's office. Huh? OK. So I am automatically suspicious, and I tell staff to call the client and tell him I will require previous vet records for the exam and any medications dispensed. Client becomes IRATE over this, saying it was a HASSLE now and that he just won't be back. GOOD, YOU FREAKING DRUG SEEKER!!!
I currently have a friend and colleague who is getting blasted online because she wasn't available when her clinic was closed for a client who let her own dog suffer for too long. My friend was taking care of her children, (you know, those silly things like feeding and educating them) and this client insisted she drop what she was doing and serve the client's needs immediately. Even though there is a referral hospital nearby - open when her clinic is closed. She had options. But she'd rather blast a good person, a mommy and a great vet, publicly, than take responsibility for her own actions.
I'm starting to feel like I need drugs myself just to deal with this DAILY crap.
We don't make this up, and this is the stuff that causes Burnout and Compassion Fatigue. It's very sad, but I don't know many vets who have been doing this for 20 years, who can honestly say they love it any more. It's just a job. And a sucky one at that.